The following is merely a comment on an apparent underlying premise in wordbird's statement above, and is not intended to be a comment on any of the tragic instances referenced in the OP of this thread.
Originally Posted by wordbird
Folks, we have a LONG way to go in terms of changing cultural perceptions about cyclist rights and appropriate cyclist behavior when a cyclist sufficiently interested in cycling safety and/or advocacy to participate in this forum makes a statement such as the above.
Whenever a motorist honks at a cyclist in the road he is probably feeling justified by a sentiment similar to the one that underlies wordbird's statement: Where cyclists "should be" is in crosswalks (which implies sidewalks) and on shoulders; in other words, in space that is out of the way of where motorists normally drive. Such a notion is anathema to the interests of bicycling advocacy and safety.
In contrast, consider the words of John Franklin from his book, Cyclecraft:
"Motorists primarily give their attention to that part of the highway
where there is risk to themselves: they are not nearly so good at
noticing anything outside their path. This zone of maximum
surveillance is often very narrow, especially at higher speeds -- it
does not extend to much more than the moving traffic lane that the
driver is following, plus the moving traffic lanes are most likely to
conflict with the driver's own movement. For you to be safest as a
cyclist, you should ride within this zone of maximum surveillance, not
outside it." (John Franklin, Cyclecraft, 1997, p. 58)
Note the contrast in notions about where cyclists "should ride" between what wordbird said, and what Franklin says.